Food, despite being a necessity for literal survival, was not exempt from the logistical challenges intensified by the pandemic. But in every hardship, there is an opportunity to be found, which is how Tasteful Selections came to be.
Tasteful Selections started out as part-hobby and part-need, as owner Vincent was faced with difficulties sourcing his favorite food items, particularly caviar.
“When Vincent found premium suppliers for his favorites, he told me, ‘Why not share it with everyone?’” Business Development Manager Eden Naval shared. “Tasteful Selections is our way of bringing the best products straight from their source countries and into the homes of fellow food lovers.”
A main point of pride for Tasteful Selections is putting a premium on quality products, which is why they only source from the food item’s country of origin. This meticulous sourcing process then resulted in partnerships with award-winning brands.
Inspired by the #charcuteriechallenge which went viral in Let’s Eat Pare (LEP), a 289,000-strong Facebook community of food enthusiasts, Tasteful Selections sent over its choicest products to gourmands, in the hope of extending the holiday cheer in the most unprecedented Christmas celebration in recent memory.
“We saw almost a thousand family members take on the challenge, with a few notable memes as a side dish,” the Facebook page’s founder, Mark Tanseco Del Rosario, said of the hashtag which populated LEP with the signature wit and creativity of Pinoys.
Even as we move into the new year and back to a different corner of our homes–workstations, makeshift classrooms, study areas–a consistent trend in the country is its holiday vibe that extends well beyond December. Coupled with the continuous uptick in Google searches for “charcuterie,” “grazing,” “cold cuts,” and “cheese platters” and it looks like the charcuterie board is here to stay, in viral social-media challenges and on dining tables alike.
Charcuterie boards are essentially DIY and have low-maintenance options, but that shouldn’t stop you from curating to your heart’s content.
“Let the elements flow naturally, give them character and their own share of the spotlight. It’s a process that the propagator should enjoy as much as the moment they devour the components. It doesn’t stop with the design or begin with the first bite,” Del Rosario said of the curation process.
For one of his own creations, which he describes as “a celebration of food and of life captured in one board,” he used Tasteful Selections’ jamón serrano, known as the irrefutable king of Spanish cured meats, as his centerpiece. Tasteful Selections’ supplier for the cold-cut variant is a Spanish company that pioneered the breeding of Duroc pork, from which jamón serrano is made.
For a more egalitarian approach, Michelle Aventajado (@mommanmanila on Instagram) made the award-winning Goya manzanilla olives, stuffed with smoked salmon, the centerpiece of her creation.
“Whenever I am making a charcuterie board, I try to include different components that will make everyone happy and offer variety to the happy snackers,” she said as she explained her process behind making the Andalucia-made olives the starting point for her charcuterie board.
Another hit among gourmands like Dindin Espiritu (@cheesemesa on Instagram) was the Manchego cheese, which she paired with the jamón serrano. The top cheese of choice derives its name, and distinct zesty flavor and crumbly texture, from the milk of Manchega sheep. (The breed in turn is named after its locale, the La Mancha region in Spain.)
“I try to elevate charcuterie boards in the country by making sure we have of quality cheeses and meats,” Espiritu noted, and emphasized taste, balance, and color as important considerations in creating your own charcuterie board.
Hazel of @grazing_manila doubles down on the importance of balance. For a “more intense cheeseboard,” she follows the “minimum 3+3 rule”, where three types of cheese would always correspond to three varieties of cold cuts. “Variety is everything but all the pieces on your board should also be complementary,” she added.
“Creating a charcuterie board involves incorporating food cultures paired with an inherently aesthetically pleasing nature,” Tina of @cheeseboxmnl added. “And this is what we liked about Tasteful Selections, they are able to provide a delectable lineup of cheeses, cold cuts and olives to make our Cheese Box catch the eyes of enthusiasts. Individually, you can enjoy it on its own but together they bring you to a complex flavorful journey.”
Learn more about the world’s finest products by following Tasteful Selections on Instagram (@Thetastefulselections) and by logging on to thetastefulselections.com.